Black bamboo silk pillowcases ruined my sheets?
August 10, 2019 5:17 AM   Subscribe

I bought cheap bamboo silk pillowcases to see if they do keep hair from tangling. Alas, I opted for black. While the effect on my hair has been positive, with any moisture (damp hair, sweat etc) they end up staining the pillows inside them and the sheets underneath. When I handwashed them, no wonder - the colour bleeds all over, to the point the sink water is black within half a minute. I'm able to rinse them until the water runs clear, but I've repeated the cycle 4 times now and the bleeding's the same strength each time I add detergent. Googling has indicated that mordants for home dyeing like salt or vinegar won't set commercial dye. Is the only solution to chuck them and order them again in white? Please note I'm in continental Europe, not the US. (Bonus question: how to get blue-grey dye bleed out of white and embroidered lyocell? A regular delicates wash for lyocell didn't help at all. If anyone used stain remover on lyocell, I'd love reassurance it won't ruin it.)
posted by I claim sanctuary to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don’t know about lyocell specifically, but there’s a product called Rit color remover that is made to remove dye and is available on UK Amazon at least. I’ve used it with good results when washing something not colorfast with other things turned a whole load green.

You could probably contact the company and ask about lyocell.
posted by FencingGal at 5:23 AM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

This article suggests that Rit dye fixative may work, but it depends on knowing that it’s the right type of dye, and all you can do is gamble on that.

(Btw I just learned bamboo silk is a type of rayon, as is lyocell.. and now I’ll be reading about all the crazy cellulosic fabrics for a while :)
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:14 AM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

The quilters I follow on the internet use “color catchers” which are sheets you put in the wash with things that bleed. Supposedly they catch the extra dye and keep it off the other fabrics. I haven’t tried them to know how well they really work though.
posted by artychoke at 8:25 AM on August 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just buy Napisan or order Sodium Percarbonate (the active ingredient) off the internet and soak the stained portion of your bedding in a bucket with hot water prior to a regular wash.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:42 AM on August 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

(I should add that I use Napisan, ignore the directions and stir in tons, soak for six hours, and have successfully lifted dark set stains that had been through a tumble drier.)
posted by DarlingBri at 9:44 AM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

You’re correct that vinegar won’t work as a fixative, and it’s not just true for commercial dying; for example, if one is home dyeing plant fibres like cotton or bamboo, it also won’t work. Vinegar is used only with acid dyes, which are only used with animal (protein) fibres like wool or real silk.

The Rit fixative mentioned above may work, or this one from Dharma Trading Company. They also sell Retayne, which does much the same thing.

Dharma Trading is a fibre arts company, so I recommend you call the 1-800 number on their site to talk to a representative, or send them a message, and see if they can advise you.

Unfortunately, all dye fixatives for plant fibres contain at least small amounts of toxic chemicals—an example is formaldehyde—so you’ll want to think about that before deciding to proceed.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:08 AM on August 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

The care instructions in the link suggest this can be washed ‘very hot’ so after treating the stain you may have options other than the delicate cycle
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2019

Looks like Napisan is equivalent to Vanish OxyAction over here, so gonna try that on the sheets, thank you!

Shipping anything from the States will be more expensive than ordering the pillowcases again in white - they were literally $13 for two with free shipping, so absolutely not worth buying anything expensive to treat them. Guess my cats just acquired some fancy bedding...
posted by I claim sanctuary at 10:37 PM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

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